Richard Adams's novel Watership Down has a memorable episode in a warren full of big, healthy rabbits ("Cowslip's warren") who are kept in good shape by a man leaving food for them, have many strange un-rabbitty habits (carrying food in their mouths, storing it underground, making pictures, having no Chief Rabbit, not caring about the tales of El-ahrairah, laughing), won't answer any question beginning "Where", and are ultimately revealed to be living one step from death, some of their number constantly being snared and killed by the man, the unspoken truth that they never acknowledge.
In the midst of this peculiar atmosphere, in which Fiver is the only one to be creeped out and see the place for what it is, a poet called Silverweed gives them a song as a reply to Dandelion's storytelling:
The wind is blowing, blowing over the grass.
It shakes the willow catkins; the leaves shine silver.
Where are you going, wind? Far, far away
Over the hills, over the edge of the world.
Take me with you, wind, high over the sky.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-wind,
Into the sky, the feathery sky and the rabbit.
The stream is running, running over the gravel,
Through the brooklime, the kingcups, the blue and gold of spring.
Where are you going, stream? Far, far away
Beyond the heather, sliding away all night.
Take me with you, stream, away in the starlight.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-stream,
Down through the water, the green water and the rabbit.
In autumn the leaves come blowing, yellow and brown.
They rustle in the ditches, they tug and hang on the hedge.
Where are you going leaves? Far, far away
Into the earth we go, with the rain and the berries.
Take me, leaves, O take me on your dark journey.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-leaves,
In the deep places of the earth, the earth and the rabbit.
Frith lies in the evening sky. The clouds are red about him.
I am here, Lord Frith, I am running through the long grass.
O take me with you, dropping behind the woods,
Far away, to the heart of light, the silence.
For I am ready to give you my breath, my life,
The shining circle of the sun, the sun and the rabbit.
This, like several of their other habits, seems more human-like than rabbit-like. Hazel's band have never heard such a thing as poetry before and are quite mystified - all except Fiver, who seems to feel a sort of kinship with Silverweed. He wants to get closer to the poet-rabbit to get a good sense of him, but then flees in panic when the poem ends. Later he says:
"You felt it, then? And you want to know whether I did? Of course I did. That's the worst part of it. There isn't any trick. He speaks the truth. So as long as he speaks the truth it can't be folly -- that's what you're going to say, isn't it? I'm not blaming you, Hazel. I felt myself moving toward him like one cloud drifting into another. But then at the last moment I drifted wide. Who knows why? It wasn't my own will; it was an accident. There was just some little part of me that carried me wide of him. Did I say the roof of that hall was made of bones? No! It's like a great mist of folly that covers the whole sky: and we shall never see to go by Frith's light any more. Oh, what will become of us? A thing can be true and still be desperate folly, Hazel."
Clearly Fiver sees some deep significance in Silverweed's poem, perhaps something that explains the mystery of that warren. To me it's just a poem, and I can't see the connection with the real situation of those rabbits. Maybe Fiver is using his usual psychic instinct and seeing what's in Silverweed's mind more than what's in his song, or maybe there is something to be gleaned from the song, some poetic indirect reference to the snares, which I'm missing.
Does Silverweed's poem have any connection to the situation of the rabbits of his warren? Or is it just a poem and Fiver's talk just the usual apparently-nonsensical-but-later-revealed-to-be-insightful Fiverishness?